Bottle openers on jeeps.

G503 General Discussion and Chat Board where users can discuss any topic about their jeeps. Jeep Use both On and Off Road, Handy & Safety Tips. Topics that don't belong on the Technical Boards, such as personal restoration progress etc. It functions as a Clubhouse.
Post Reply
42swing
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Posts: 297
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:44 pm

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by 42swing » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:24 am

We have one mounted on the drivers-side rear like the picture above. My daughter did some research and found an interesting story that actually went back to WWI when the government took all of Coke's sugar so they couldn't make product and nearly went bankrupt. As WWII was looming, Coke went to the government and made a deal to keep the sugar coming and Coke would make sure every soldier, sailor, or airman could have a Coke wherever they were. Every 5th crate or so was to have a Coca Cola bottle opener in it and hence after awhile many vehicles had an opener mounted on them somewhere. Don't know if its strictly accurate or not, but makes a great story to tell. We usually put our Coke crate by the opener.

The follow-on story we tell has to do with the German bottling plant and the origin of Fanta.
Malvern, PA
1942 MB 180635
1943 Willys MBT
1940 Elgin male bicycle
1940 Columbia female bicycle
1943 M3A4 Hand Cart
1943 Harley Davidson WLA with side car

GI.
Sergeant Major [E-9]
Posts: 621
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:21 pm
Location: Marietta GA.

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by GI. » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:45 am

42swing wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:24 am
We have one mounted on the drivers-side rear like the picture above. My daughter did some research and found an interesting story that actually went back to WWI when the government took all of Coke's sugar so they couldn't make product and nearly went bankrupt. As WWII was looming, Coke went to the government and made a deal to keep the sugar coming and Coke would make sure every soldier, sailor, or airman could have a Coke wherever they were. Every 5th crate or so was to have a Coca Cola bottle opener in it and hence after awhile many vehicles had an opener mounted on them somewhere. Don't know if its strictly accurate or not, but makes a great story to tell. We usually put our Coke crate by the opener.

The follow-on story we tell has to do with the German bottling plant and the origin of Fanta.
Great story 42swing, very interesting part of history, got any pic's of your jeep with the opener and crate?.... would love to see them. Thank's
67 M-151A1
43 GPW #124170

Chuck Lutz
Gee Addict
Posts: 23615
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:00 am
Location: Novato, CA

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by Chuck Lutz » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:16 am

Hmm...Coca-Cola supplied five BILLION bottles of Coke in WWII....if there were 24 bottles in a crate, that would be 244,444,444 crates of Coke bottles. If every fifth crate had a free opener included that would be 48,888.888 openers.

It's a wonderful story, but if Coke provided the big, two screw openers that would be a heck of a lot of metal and cost that would far exceed the simple FLAT, stamped out openers that could be carried by troops on their dog tags or in a pocket and would not require mounting it on a jeep....or a tree...and did not require a drill or hardware to mount it...and the GI could "own" the opener, not have it attached to a jeep that would possibly go back to the motorpool or get destroyed.

Now I know "Mythbusters" is off the air now, but here are some old-school Coca-Cola marked bottle openers that would be cheap, easy to ship, easy for GIs to keep and not have to give up if their jeep/truck/whatever got taken/destroyed...
Coke opener 1.png
Coke opener 1.png (57.09 KiB) Viewed 659 times
Coke opener 2.jpg
Coke opener 2.jpg (5.8 KiB) Viewed 659 times
I think it MUCH more likely that infantry troops in the field could use one of these that to run around looking for a vehicle or a tree to mount it on!
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)

GI.
Sergeant Major [E-9]
Posts: 621
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:21 pm
Location: Marietta GA.

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by GI. » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:27 pm

Chuck Lutz wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:16 am
Hmm...Coca-Cola supplied five BILLION bottles of Coke in WWII....if there were 24 bottles in a crate, that would be 244,444,444 crates of Coke bottles. If every fifth crate had a free opener included that would be 48,888.888 openers.

It's a wonderful story, but if Coke provided the big, two screw openers that would be a heck of a lot of metal and cost that would far exceed the simple FLAT, stamped out openers that could be carried by troops on their dog tags or in a pocket and would not require mounting it on a jeep....or a tree...and did not require a drill or hardware to mount it...and the GI could "own" the opener, not have it attached to a jeep that would possibly go back to the motorpool or get destroyed.

Now I know "Mythbusters" is off the air now, but here are some old-school Coca-Cola marked bottle openers that would be cheap, easy to ship, easy for GIs to keep and not have to give up if their jeep/truck/whatever got taken/destroyed...

Coke opener 1.png

Coke opener 2.jpg

I think it MUCH more likely that infantry troops in the field could use one of these that to run around looking for a vehicle or a tree to mount it on!
WOW! Great to hear from someone that was there and know's 1st hand all about what other GI's would do about opening their drink's and what kind of opener they "ALL" used,.... BUT, you seem to be in the minority :lol: .

Sound's like you spent many years in the Military, and I thank you for your service.
I have a feeling all the drink's you ever opened were twist off's :wink: .
Last edited by GI. on Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
67 M-151A1
43 GPW #124170

Chuck Lutz
Gee Addict
Posts: 23615
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:00 am
Location: Novato, CA

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by Chuck Lutz » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:40 pm

Really? You seem to think that even though there were Coca-Cola marked hand-operated bottle cap openers available in WWII, that the company produced 48 MILLION of the cast-type that needed to be attached to a tree or a vehicle or a signpost? Remember, the article said FIVE BILLION BOTTLES (244,444,444 cases +/-) and every FIFTH case had an opener in it.

I don't doubt the STORY, but the reality of sending cases to advanced areas like Guadalcanal, Tarawa or North Africa with an opener that needs to be mounted to something to work as it should as opposed to the simple, inexpensive ones I posted above must have been over your pay grade.

I remember when the grocery store gave you a FREE church key or bottle opener with advertising on it...this is probably exactly the same thing. Something tells me the cost of the hand operating opener vs the cast/painted one is probably ten times as expensive (we are talking pennies but we are also apparently talking 48 MILLION of them according to the story).

PS....USNR, so you are welcome!
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)


Mark Jesic
G-Major
G-Major
Posts: 929
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:56 am
Location: Birmingham, England

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by Mark Jesic » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:46 pm

:D Guys, lets just have a coke, eh ? :D The bottles coca cola used in world war 2, are still available in France apparrently.

JD136
G-Command Sergeant Major
G-Command Sergeant Major
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Strasburg,Pa.

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by JD136 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:05 pm

Ask a WW2 Vet. Maybe he can remember what type of bottle opener came in a Coca-Cola case. :)
1942 GPW #6834 3-20-42 Dallas, Texas [USA 2065808 est.]

TonyStandefer
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Posts: 360
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 3:43 pm
Location: Everett, Wa
Contact:

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by TonyStandefer » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:41 pm

Not one wartime photo in use?

Pretty sure a bottle opener is a fantasy piece added by modern owners/restorers.

At best it would be a rarity in use. Like the hull compass or tandem tow bar. More being used now than during the war
Willys MB 340931. DOD 6-9-1944
Mvpa 1996 convention 1st place motorpool class

User avatar
gerrykan
G-General
G-General
Posts: 9034
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:37 am
Location: Ozark Mountains, USA

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by gerrykan » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:52 pm

I would bet a crafty GI could have liberated a cast Coca-Cola opener in England, or on the Continent if only stamped steel 'church keys' were supplied by Coke.

My Dad passed some years ago, and my Mom only remembers relatives, class mates, and friends telling about when they liberated wine and liquor.
They probably would have only had to defeat a cork to get to the prize. Cheers!
Roy

User avatar
Farrell Fox
G-Lieutenant General
G-Lieutenant General
Posts: 6050
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:17 pm

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by Farrell Fox » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:53 pm

In my opinion, this falls under the "fantasy" category. There are no known photos or references to bottle openers of any kind being installed on any WW2 vehicles. Given the fact that Coca-Cola was extremely rare on the front lines, the chances of ever needing a bottle opener to crack one open were pretty small.

It's a neat looking modern re-enactor accessory, but far from historically accurate.
4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division
M1A1 Main Battle Tank Mechanic
M88 Armored Vehicle Recovery Operator
AVLB Operator

User avatar
Mark Tombleson
MZ Radio Operator
Posts: 9236
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 9:58 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by Mark Tombleson » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:46 pm

I disagree. The small portable bottling plants were designed to be towed by jeeps. I think it quite possible they had openers on them.

https://cocacolabottleman.wordpress.com ... -military/

https://www.antique-bottles.net/showthr ... oke/page15
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
U.S.N. 133818
2nd place Restored Class 2008 Portland Convention
MVPA Hall of Fame - 2013

User avatar
Farrell Fox
G-Lieutenant General
G-Lieutenant General
Posts: 6050
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:17 pm

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by Farrell Fox » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:43 pm

Mark,

I assume you are referring to this line?
Before 1944, small portable bottling units, capable of being hauled behind jeeps, were used. 
It only says that these portable bottling units were capable of being towed behind Jeeps. It doesn't say that they ever were, nor does it say they were specifically designed to be towed behind a Jeep.


The next line says this.
By 1944, more permanent installations showed up in the Pacific and European War Theaters.
So even if these portable bottling units were ever implemented, they were quickly not needed since the permanent installations became operational.

To date, there is no documented cases found of bottle openers installed on vehicles. Additionally, Coke handed out to front line troops was a rare occurrence, so the need for one at all was small. The 100th Infantry Division History Group provides plenty of documentation to show this.
4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division
M1A1 Main Battle Tank Mechanic
M88 Armored Vehicle Recovery Operator
AVLB Operator

User avatar
Mark Tombleson
MZ Radio Operator
Posts: 9236
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 9:58 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by Mark Tombleson » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:13 pm

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DE6jW_5Q8C0

I've seen lots of photos of Coke in theatre but I can only post links on my phone.

You sound like Chuck... I remember when most said my MZ-1 was just a fantasy.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pinter ... 229047339/
Last edited by Mark Tombleson on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
U.S.N. 133818
2nd place Restored Class 2008 Portland Convention
MVPA Hall of Fame - 2013

User avatar
Farrell Fox
G-Lieutenant General
G-Lieutenant General
Posts: 6050
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:17 pm

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by Farrell Fox » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:21 pm

Mark Tombleson wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:13 pm
You sound like Chuck... I remember when most said my MZ-1 was just a fantasy.
But even back then, period photos of the MZ-1 existed.



Food for thought. "First Coke in two and a half years".
Image
Last edited by Farrell Fox on Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division
M1A1 Main Battle Tank Mechanic
M88 Armored Vehicle Recovery Operator
AVLB Operator

TonyStandefer
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Posts: 360
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 3:43 pm
Location: Everett, Wa
Contact:

Re: Bottle openers on jeeps.

Post by TonyStandefer » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:23 pm

Not disputing coke was overseas in ww2, produce one photo o a bottle opener on any vehicle in ww2.

I don't think it happened
Willys MB 340931. DOD 6-9-1944
Mvpa 1996 convention 1st place motorpool class

Post Reply

Return to “G503 General Discussion Board”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mooecow and 2 guests